Friday, August 30, 2013

The Last (821) Word(s) On The Miley Cyrus Situation

This has very little to do with this post. I just thought it was funny as hell.

Now we have the people who are STARK, RAVING MAD at, or trying really really hard to say something cleverly condescending to, anyone who decided to join in the pop culture discussion of the moment - Miley Cyrus. And in doing so, they just end up...joining the pop culture discussion of the moment - Miley Cyrus. If you hate that people are giving her, and not more "important" (what a subjective term) issues attention, why waste characters and energy that could be going to the "important" issue on the topic you claim to hate? The web hits will translate to popularity which translate to further fame and riches for Miley, and in the end there will be no distinction made for you because your tweet, status, comment or blog tried to go against what you felt like the masses shouldn't have been feeling. In the end, you're message still looks/sounds like "Something something something MILEY CYRUS something something something else." 

But I don't fault you because I realize what you may not - that people just want/need to express strong feelings. And yes, sometimes it is a silly musical performance or a reality show or a weird trend that invokes this feeling. Let's not act like people don't react to "important" issues the same way; Trayvon Martin and equal marriage rights for gays hasn't exactly been ignored on Facebook and twitter and in the blogosphere. If you want people to pay more attention to Syria or midterm elections or The Illuminati, telling them "You're stupid for commenting on Miley Cyrus like I'm commenting on Miley Cyrus right now by telling you how stupid you are for commenting on Miley Cyrus, when The Illuminati is about to engage in another illegal war" is not going to endear your intended listener to your message. And you have to know this. Which sort of makes me think that you're trolling for "likes" and retweets by the choir you're preaching to. I'm an educator by profession and you know what kind of teacher is least effective? The kind who is always telling the kids "You need to stop playing those video games and iPads and study your math more, and pay more attention to your social studies." The best teachers are the ones who make the students want to be concerned with their studies by showing the teacher's own passion for math/social studies and putting all focus on it. Or even utilizing the video games to get the students focused on their studies. Now, I'm not saying that it wouldn't then be annoying to see a PSP in math class, just like it would be appalling for someone to be tweeting about the VMAs during a city council meeting, but all of it coexists. I'm not saying you should try to raise awareness for the prison industrial complex by creating a twerk video either. But if you're really trying to get people focused on more serious issues, maybe you can take a page or a just a sentence out of how the pop culture folks are doing it. Teachers learn to adapt the iPads and the video games to the classroom. Maybe you feel like you're doing that through social media, but you're not using social media effectively for your cause by ranting about how stupid other people are for what/who they give attention to. 

Miley Cyrus annoyed the living crap out of me, but obviously, because I previously blogged about her (I actually did 2 years ago also, briefly, about pretty much the same current topic), her performance was able to arouse some strong feelings in me (to be honest though, I'm just as annoyed by Robin Thicke's overrated rape-y song that can do no wrong that everyone gives a pass to just because it has a nice groove it hijacked from Marvin Gaye and everyone seems to love a soulful white guy, BUT I don't go tapping out word upon word telling you why you shouldn't listen to him and that he's nothing but a more annoying Jon B., do I?*). But I also blogged about Syria and have been posting statuses about the situation for a while. You can be intrigued by both subjects (and trust me, because of my location, I have A LOT of reasons to be intrigued by the latter). Yes, we all know that millions upon millions are brainwashed by the media to pay more attention to pop culture than they are to politics, and that's not a good thing. It's a bad thing. (Although, last time I checked, politics was just as outrageous of a circus as anything that went on at any MTV awards show.) But is an angry, condescending Facebook status, tweet or blog post your best strategy for bringing about a change in where people are focusing their energy? Maybe you should look at changing where you're focusing yours?

*see what I did there?

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